The Road to 100GigE

3:15 PM -- So Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has been trialling 100-Gbit/s transmission with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), it was announced today. (See Deutsche Telekom Trials 100G.)

The trial is part of a three-year, €66 million ($85.6 million) project called 100-GET (100 Gbit/s Carrier-Grade Ethernet Transport Technologies) that's being coordinated by Celtic Telecommunications Solutions.

This looks like a pretty interesting initiative, and some big names are involved, including ADVA Optical Networking , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), and Nokia Networks , as well as Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson.

But there are plenty of other organizations involved too, such as the Berlin-based Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute, which focuses on telecom and multimedia technology research.

The main focus of the project is on "Ethernet-based transport networks using low cost 100GbE transponders," and prototypes that can "identify the most powerful technology options for 100-GigE transport."

To achieve this the project has been split into five sub-projects:

  • 100-GET-AL: Focused on "architectures, concepts, technologies and prototype implementations for a flexible, efficient, reliable and service-independent core transport network to fulfil the requirements of the Future Internet." This includes the definition of a converged packet-optical architecture "with advanced 100Gbps technologies and novel Layer 2 packet transport techniques (preferable T-MPLS)." For Transport MPLS, read MPLS-TP (MPLS Transport Profile). This group is lead by Alcatel-Lucent, probably the most vocal backer of MPLS-TP and one of the most outspoken critics of PBB-TE, the alternative packet transport technology formerly known as PBT. (See Checking Out MPLS-TP , Transport MPLS Gets a Makeover, and A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)

  • 100-GET-E3 (End-to-End Carrier-Grade Ethernet): The focus here includes "carrier grade performance in order to fulfil reliability, availability, quality of service, and supervision requirements of the future services and broadband applications," and "integrated control of network elements based on two approaches," T-MPLS and PBB-TE. This group is lead by Nokia Siemens Networks.

  • 100-GET-ER: This group aims to "develop innovative and cost-effective solutions on network, system, and component level for newly emerging 100GbE networks" with a focus on the "metro network segment as area of largest anticipated market growth." And it goes all the way to the component level: "Key building blocks such as high-speed analogue-digital (ADCs) and digital-analogue converters (DACs), which are not available commercially, will be developed." Ericsson is leading this group's work.

  • 100-GET-METRO: This group, lead by ADVA< will "investigate 100 Gbit/s transport technology for metro network applications" with a particular emphasis on the "realization of cost effective solutions."

  • 100-GET-ES: Lead by Telefónica I+D, the innovation and R&D arm of Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), this group "focuses on cost-optimized metro-edge solutions to extend the end-to-end control-enabled optical Carrier Ethernet to the metro-edge, with the ambition to foster the deployment of ultra-high broadband networks in a 2012 horizon."

    That's plenty for the vendor and carrier research teams to get their teeth into for the next couple of years, for sure. We'll be keeping an eye on developments from 100-GET as the projects develop into further field trials.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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